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My Dog Sits Weird – Why Do Dogs Sit In Strange Positions?

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Have you ever wondered why your dog sits weird with one leg kicked out or both of his knees bent outward in a cross-legged position?

Normally, a dog should sit upright with his knees flat to the side and feet neatly tucked underneath his hips.

However, some dogs just flop to the floor like they are tired and end up sitting in some rather weird positions.

While it may seem that your dog is sitting weird, this can be a completely normal canine behavior.

Dog Sits Weird

In fact, strange sitting positions are quite common in puppies and are a completely normal part of the growing stage.

However, while the puppy sit is normal for puppies, in adult dogs, it can be a sign that something is wrong.

If you have a young puppy that sits weirdly from time to time, there is nothing you should worry about. But if your older dog flops into a lazy sit on a regular basis, you should take him to see a vet as soon as possible.

In most cases, a dog that is experiencing pain or a health problem will feel more comfortable sitting in a weird position than in a normal sit. 

Many people believe the sloppy sit is basically the cause of hip and joint problems in dogs, but it’s the other way around. For some reason, dogs with joint and bone problems experience relief while sitting in strange positions. 

In this article, I will tell you everything you need to know about the puppy sit and list the most common reasons behind this strange behavior. Continue reading to learn what your dog’s sitting position means. 

Why Does My Dog Sits Weird?

Dogs have many interesting habits and are known to do some rather strange things.

You have probably noticed that your dog is exhibiting some weird behaviors such as chasing his own tail, barking at his reflections, sitting on your feet, and walking in circles before lying down. 

However, the thing that most owners find the strangest is the infamous lazy sit.

Have you ever seen your dog sag into a sit like he is tired? Or has he ever flopped onto one hip and kicked out his other leg to the side, like he is trying to chill out?

Or does your dog ever sit cross-legged with both of his knees splayed on the side and toes almost touching? 

All of these weird sitting positions are called puppy sit, but you might have heard some people refer to it as lazy, sloppy, or frog sit.

If your dog has a habit of flopping into puppy sit on a regular basis, you have probably wondered, “why does my dog sit weird and is there something I can do about it?” 

While the lazy dog sitting position might seem weird and worrisome to you, this is often completely normal canine behavior.

However, the lazy sit can also be a sign of underlying health problems in adult dogs, so you shouldn’t just dismiss it as another one of your dog’s weird and funny behaviors. 

Let’s take a look at the most common reasons that might cause your dog to sits weird:

Your Puppy Is Still Growing

As its name suggests, the puppy sit most often occurs in young puppies. If you have just brought a new puppy home, you have probably noticed that he is sitting in many different positions, with limbs spayed in every possible direction.

While the lazy sit is quite common in puppies, it is completely normal to wonder if there is something wrong with your new pooch.

All puppies go through a growth stage when they look extremely cute and bit awkward running around with limbs flying all over the place.

During the growth phase, it’s not uncommon for puppies to just flop down in a lazy puppy sit in the middle of a play session. But no matter how cute your puppy looks in this position, most new dog owners assume the worst. 

The good news is, it’s completely normal for young puppies to sit like this and there is nothing you should worry about.

All puppies are very flexible since their joints aren’t yet fully connected and their bones aren’t fully formed. As a result, puppies can’t coordinate their movements well and appear strange when they try to run, walk, or sit.

Lengthy potty training sessions or too much play can be tiring for a young puppy and may cause your pooch to flop down into a lazy sit more often.

If there is a chance your pup is too tired from his daily activities, try to keep his training sessions shorter and more fun to prevent fatigue. 

If your puppy is still in a growing phase, and you exercise him safely and properly, you shouldn’t read too much into his weird sitting positions. The lazy sit alone isn’t a sign of bad hips or joint problems in puppies. 

Depending on the breed, dogs reach adulthood between one and two years of age, and during this time, the puppy sit generally isn’t a sign for concern.

However, if your puppy continues to flop into a lazy sit once he reaches maturity, then there is a chance that he is suffering from an underlying medical problem. 

Underlying Health Problem

A lazy sit is a perfectly normal sitting position for puppies, but in adult dogs, it is usually a sign of underlying health problems.

Despite common beliefs, the lazy sit isn’t the cause of the problem; instead, this sitting position allows dogs to alleviate pressure from their joints and bones.

Your dog might be sitting weird to relieve pressure from his joints, back, or to avoid aggravating a sore spot on some other part of his body. 

If your adult dog slips into a lazy sit every once in a while, this might be a sign of a temporary issue, such as muscle soreness after a vigorous play session.

These types of issues usually resolve on their own and aren’t too serious.

However, if your adult dog is sitting like this all the time, you should have him checked out by a vet.

The lazy sit isn’t a natural dog sitting position for canines over the age of two and is generally caused by an underlying health problem. 

Many potential health issues can cause your dog to have trouble sitting normally, but luckily, most are treatable.

Listed below are a few health problems that might be the reason why your dog has trouble sitting normally:

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a painful skeletal disease that is often seen in large and giant breeds such as Great Danes, but it can also occur in smaller breeds.

In dogs with this condition, the ball and the socket of the hip joint do not fit properly and they rub and grind against each other whenever the dog moves. 

The grinding causes wear and tear to the joint, which causes a lot of pain and discomfort to the dog.

Dogs with hip dysplasia usually have trouble walking, getting up, jumping, and sitting normally. Most dogs with hip dysplasia start sitting in weird positions to relieve soreness and pain caused by this condition.

Since hip dysplasia is a genetic condition, there isn’t anything you can do to prevent it except buying your puppy from a reputable breeder that tests their dogs for this condition.

However, once diagnosed, hip dysplasia can be treated surgically or managed with pain-relieving medication. 

If your dog sits weird on a regular basis, you should take him to your vet for a checkup.

And if it turns out that your pooch has hip dysplasia, your vet will suggest treatment options and prescribed meds that will reduce inflammation and relieve pain. 

Knee Problems

Conditions such as luxating patella and torn cruciate ligament are extremely painful knee problems that can cause your dog to have trouble sitting.

Luxating patella is often seen in small breed dogs and happens when a kneecap moves from its normal location.

Dogs with this condition have trouble holding their weight on the affected leg and can’t sit normally.

If your dog is sitting on the side and is also limping on a rear leg, he might have a torn cruciate ligament.

This condition is usually caused by trauma from an injury or a degeneration of the ligaments within the joint.

A torn cruciate ligament is an extremely painful condition that usually happens when a dog is running and suddenly changes its position. 

If you suspect your pooch is experiencing any type of knee problems, you should take him to a vet for a checkup.

Besides affecting your dog’s ability to sit normally, both luxating patella and torn cruciate ligament and extremely painful conditions that can affect the quality of your dog’s day to day life.

Back Pain

Back pain is another common health problem that might cause your dog to sit with his legs splayed to the sides.

Dogs who are developing intervertebral disk disease or herniated disk may have trouble sitting normally. In these cases, a sloppy sit might be more convenient for your dog and help alleviate soreness and back pain. 

If your dog is suffering from any one of these two conditions, he might also show symptoms of hind leg paralysis, lameness, loss of coordination, and pain.

To prevent further damage to the spine, you should take your dog to the vet as soon as you notice any symptoms of back pain. 

And even if your dog isn’t exhibiting any symptoms except the sloppy sit, you should take him for a checkup, just to be on the safe side.

Inflamed Anal Glands

Inflamed anal glands can make sitting very uncomfortable and might cause your dog to flop down into a lazy sit or some other sitting position that won’t put too much pressure on his bum.

Impacted anal glands can become abscessed and very painful if not diagnosed and treated in time. 

While sitting weirdly is one of the signs that your pooch has inflamed anal glands, he might also scoot, bite or lick his rear end, and have constipation. Luckily, impacted glands are very easy to treat with antibiotics.

Once the inflammation subsides and your dog starts to feel better, he will no longer have to use a lazy sit to relieve pain and will start to sit completely normally.  

Dog Is Trying To Imitate You

Not only do dogs know how to mimic other dogs, but they can also imitate human behavior.

Even more surprising is the fact that dogs copy human behavior, even if they don’t have any benefits from it.

So, you shouldn’t be surprised if your dog tries to imitate your sitting positions and ends up taking over your sofa. 

If you have caught your dog sitting on the sofa with his legs extended out front like a human, chances are that he is copying you.

If you found your dog’s sitting position funny and amusing, your positive reaction may have been everything your dog needed as encouragement.

In your dog’s mind, you approved of his weird sitting position, and now he can do it again.

If your dog sits like this often and you notice any signs of back pain, stiffness, or trouble getting up, schedule an appointment with your vet.

But if your pooch doesn’t have any other problems or difficulty walking, chances are that he simply likes sitting like this. 

FAQs About Dog Sitting Position Meaning

Why Does My Dog Sit Weird?

A who dog just flops into a sit with his legs splayed sideways rather than beneath his hips or appears to go almost cross-legged is sitting in a puppy sit.

Sloppy sit or puppy sit isn’t really a problem in young puppies since their joints and bones are still very flexible. However, adult dogs should be more stable and a puppy sit can indicate many different problems. 

In most cases, a dog will use a sloppy sit as a way to alleviate soreness and joint pain.

Hip dysplasia, knee problems, back pain, and inflamed anal glands are a few health problems that can cause a dog to sit in weird positions.

If your dog sits strangely and also has trouble walking, you should schedule an appointment with your vet. 

What Are The Signs Of Hip Dysplasia In Dogs?

The most common signs of hip dysplasia in dogs include decreased activity, pain, stiffness, lameness in hind legs, and decreased range of motion.

Additionally, you will notice that your dog has trouble rising and is reluctant to run, jump, and climb the stairs or sofa. 

Some dogs with hip dysplasia also develop a swaying gait and have noticeably enlarged shoulder muscles compared to the rear end of the body.

In some cases, you might hear grating in the hip joint while your dog is walking. 

Why Does My Dog Sit Like A Person?

Some dogs sit like humans just because every time they do it, their owners find it funny and unintentionally encourage this behavior.

Dogs know how to copy human behaviors, and if your pooch thinks you like the way he is sitting, he will start sitting this way more often. 

However, some dogs might sit like people just because this position is more comfortable and alleviates back pain and soreness.

If your dog is sitting like a human and has difficulty walking, you should take him to your vet for a check-up.

How Does A Dog Sit With Hip Dysplasia?

Dogs that have hip dysplasia will sit on the side with the affected leg extended to the side, instead of sitting square with both legs tucked under hips.

Additionally, dogs with bad hips might also have trouble sitting normally and they usually just flop to the floor like they are very tired.

Observing the way a dog sits during an examination is one of the ways a vet can determine if he has hip dysplasia. 

Conclusion

If you have noticed that your dog sits weird, he is most likely flopping down into a puppy sit with his legs splayed to the side.

Also known as lazy and sloppy sit, the puppy sit is completely normal for puppies, but can be a sign of health problems in adult dogs.

This weird sitting position helps dogs relieve pain and feel more comfortable if they are suffering from:

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Knee problems
  • Back pain

If your dog is slipping into a lazy sit only once in a while, he might be trying to relieve temporary muscle soreness or pain.

However, if he sits weirdly all the time and has difficulty walking, you should take him to a vet for a check-up.

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